The Daily Mirror

Larry Harnisch reflects on Los Angeles history

Category: April 2010

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Matt Weinstock, April 30, 1960

 April 30, 1960, Comics

Boys Are Finding People Aren't So Bad

Matt Weinstock A recent wire story from Liberty, N.Y., related that business was bad for the brothers Katz-Steven, 10, Arthur, 8, and Robert, 6 -- founders of the Sav-A-Fine Co., a non-profit organization. 

    When the boys find an expired parking meter they put in a nickel and leave  a card on the auto windshield pointing out they have probably saved the owner $1 fine and inviting him to return the nickel by mail. 

    The story stated that the brothers had invested between $2.50 and $3 in good samaritanism and their return had been only 50 cents.

    Author Robert Nathan was touched by the story and wrote them a letter hoping the deficit wouldn't cause them to lose faith in their fellow men.  He also sent a check for $1.     
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Paul V. Coates – Confidential File, April 30, 1960

April 30, 1960, Mirror

Mash Notes and Comment

Paul Coates    "Dear Paul:

    "You touched my heartstrings the other day when you mentioned in your column that you love tapioca.

    "I myself am willing to do anything to help bring back tapioca.  In fact, I have a couple of original recipes which use it.

    "The first is beer pie:

    "Prepare crumb crust, but with crumbled pretzels instead of graham crackers.  Pour a can of beer into a sauce pan.  Stir in three tablespoons of minute tapioca.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to full, rolling boil.  Remove from heat and let stand 15 minutes.

    "Pour into unbaked pretzel crust, sprinkle top with one-half cup of crushed peanuts.

    "When thoroughly cool, decorate with softened cream cheese squeezed through pastry tube, serve cold, garnished with green olives and thin slices of dill pickle.
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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, April 30, 1940

April 30, 1940, Vast Battle

Aprl 30, 1940, Italian Envoy

April 30, 1940, Italian Envoy  

April 30, 1940: “Look for screams from stellar biggies when Los Angeles fire officials start enforcing the new ordinance banning trailer dressing rooms from sound stages,” Jimmie Fidler says.

Wot’s this about Italian envoy Dino “The Charmer” Alfieri and a certain Nazi officer’s wife? More on the jump.
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Movie Star Mystery Photo

    April 26, 2010, Mystery Photo

Los Angeles Times file photo 

Our mystery guest is Vera Lewis, above, in a photo dated Aug. 27, 1916.

Feb. 12, 1956, Vera Lewis

Feb. 12, 1956: Lewis dies at the age of 82.

June 14, 1925, Vera Lewis

June 14 1925: Elinor Glyn says Vera Lewis is the reincarnation of Empress Sophia Maria!
Just a reminder on how this works: I post the mystery photo on Monday and reveal the answer on Friday ... or on Saturday if I have a hard time picking only five pictures; sometimes it's difficult to choose. To keep the mystery photo from getting lost in the other entries, I move it from Monday to Tuesday to Wednesday, etc., adding a photo every day.

I have to approve all comments, so if your guess is posted immediately, that means you're wrong. (And if a wrong guess has already been submitted by someone else, there's no point in submitting it again).

If you're right, you will have to wait until Friday. There's no need to submit your guess five times. Once is enough. The only reward is bragging rights. 

The answer to last week's mystery star: Bob “Bazooka” Burns!

There’s a new photo on the jump!
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Court Rejects Chessman’s Appeal for Clemency

 April 30, 1960, Chessman 


Trout season opens – and The Times’ Saturday sports cover features a cartoon by Alex Perez. 

April 30, 1960: Caryl Chessman’s long fight to avoid the gas chamber is just about over.

On the jump: Dick Clark tells a congressional panel that he never took payola … and Chuck Dressen says, “ Don Drysdale really studies the hitters. You don't have to tell him how to pitch to the hitters. He tells you.”
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Cannibals Eat Presbyterian Missionaries

April 30, 1910. Cover

April 30, 1910: I’ve seen lots of peculiar stories in the old papers, but this is the first account I have ever read of cannibals eating missionaries, in this case the Rev. Horatio Hopkins and the Rev. Hector Laurie McPherson of the Presbyterian Polynesian Mission.  There’s also a story about white slavery in New York and a violent strike in Mount Vernon, Ill. Quite a news day.

On the jump, a wife stabs her neglectful husband in the back with a paring knife during an argument, but he forgives her. It’s only a flesh wound, after all.
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Matt Weinstock, April 29, 1960


April 29, 1960, Comics

Sinatra Admirer Undaunted by Threats

Matt Weinstock     For many years as a disc jockey and program director Frank Evans has played the records of Frank Sinatra.  He knows and admires him.

    Several weeks ago he was playing them, no more and no less than usual, on his programs on station KRHM-FM but suddenly things were different.

    He was assailed by a deluge of vicious phone calls and mail.  What did he mean, playing Sinatra's records?  Didn't he know about Sinatra?  Some attacked Evans personally.  Others threatened picketing and boycott.  As always, the threateners were anonymous.  The usual identification was "A Loyal American" or "Commie Hater" or "A Patriot," as if those who refused to accept their weird irrelevance were not.

    The reason, of course, was that Sinatra had hired Albert Maltz to write the screenplay of "The Execution of Private Slovik."  Maltz was convicted of contempt of Congress 10 years ago and served a year in jail for refusing to tell a committee if he were a Communist.

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Paul V. Coates – Confidential File, April 29, 1960

 April 29, 1960, Mirror Cover

We Are Told You're Nothing but a Procal

Paul Coates    I'm not complaining.  I'm perfectly happy with my job.  I enjoy these daily tete-a-tetes with you.

    But the unpleasant realization is slowly awakening within me that the first major decision of my journalistic career -- after venturing west some dozen years ago -- was a wrong one.

    I decided then I should write for the entertainment of the local folks.  Become one of them.  Adapt myself.

    So instead of standing around and gawking at the native sand marveling at their curious mores, I did my level best to blend into the Southern California landscape. 

    I never once let on that I was thunderstruck by the behavior patterns of my new neighbors.  Not even in letters home to Mom did I admit that Southern Californians were different than their forefathers east of the Alleghenies.  (If I had, she probably would have sent me a bus ticket and made me go home.)


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Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, April 29, 1940

April 29, 1940, Wasp 

The Wasp is commissioned at Boston Navy Yard. It sank in the Solomon Islands after being torpedoed by the Japanese on Sept. 15, 1942.

April 29, 1940, Germans Bomb

April 29, 1940: “Artie Shaw is making no new friends fast at MGM, where the Missus (Lana Turner) slaves,” Jimmie Fidler says.

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Alfred Hitchcock Dies


April 29, 1980, Hitchcock Dies

April 29, 1980: Director Sir Alfred Hitchcock dies in his Bel-Air home at the age of 80.

On the jump, former Watergate prosecutor Leon Jaworski calls Ronald Reagan an "extremist" and backs George Bush as the Republican candidate for president.

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Youth Attacks Girl With Ax

April 29, 1910, Etta Lumsden

E. 4t5th Street

East 45th Street, via Google maps’ street view.

April 30, 1910, Frank Allen

April 29, 1910: A mother finds her teenage daughter unconscious and bleeding after being struck in the head, and police question Frank Allen, a “boy of peculiar habits,” who lives next door.

"Allen showed many marks of the youthful degenerate," The Times says. "He is fairly tall for his age, narrow through the shoulders. His face is rather thin, and only the ruddy color from work in the open serves to hide the marks of viciousness. The boy's eyes appear very tired, and the lids and corners are wrinkled. His face shows weakness. The under lip is set back considerably from the upper one, and the face recedes abruptly until there is little or no chin, and even this is cleft by a great dimple. The skin is drawn and pimply."

The youth (he was apparently 14, although his age varies in stories) was sent to the Preston State School of Industry at Ione until he turned 21. The Times said the victim recovered from her injuries, but name never again appears in the paper.

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Matt Weinstock, April 28, 1960

April 28, 1960, Comics
“We Failed Miserably!”

Time for a Final Note of Appreciation


Matt Weinstock

    How's your humility today?  Well, suppose we share mine.

     I am haunted by a note from a longtime reader, particularly the last sentence:  "I have cancer and it will only be a matter of weeks now and I thought that I should tell you that you have made the years a bit more pleasant for me."

    I don't mean to spoil anyone's day with somber thoughts but here is a cheerful man, awaiting the big adventure, taking a moment of his allotted time to be gracious as he sets his house in order.  Vaya con dios, H.C.A.
    LIFE CAN ALSO be frustrating for bail bondsmen, those liberators of people in jams, who most persons think have "got it made."
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